Tennessees’ TVAAS (now EVAAS) Developer W. L. Sanders on his VAM

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The model I know best, as I have been researching this one for now almost a decade, is the TVAAS (which is now more popularly known as the EVAAS) which, as mentioned numerous times on this blog, has its strong roots in Tennessee. It is in Tennessee that William L. Sanders, a then (in the 1980s/90s) Adjunct Professor of Agriculture at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, developed the TVAAS.

Contrary to what was written in an article released today in The Tennessean, however, he did not invent “value-added.” This has been a mainly econometric approach that can be found in economics literature since the 1970s. Regardless, it is worth a read of this article to understand this model’s history, the model in education from which much of the current education system’s value-added “craze” (or as they call it “vogue” trend) came, as this article was written in response to the many lawsuits coming to fruition in Tennessee (see posts forthcoming this week), largely in the model’s defense.

Interesting points to point out:

No surprise, I guess, that none of the other “issues” about which the EVAAS has been continuously questioned and critiqued were addressed in this article (e.g., about fairness and the teachers who are not TVAAS eligible, validity or the lack of relationships between the TVAAS and other indicators of quality in Tennessee, subject and grade level bias, as written about here and here, etc.).

 

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3 thoughts on “Tennessees’ TVAAS (now EVAAS) Developer W. L. Sanders on his VAM

  1. Here is more detail from his actual quote in the article: “…the formula adjusts for one-offs, such as a smart kid who bombs on a testing day or a teacher who cheats to get a bonus.” He’s referring to them as “one-offs” rather than, perhaps, outliers or extremes or students who test under random/systematic circumstances that often cause error. This model can control for that…too 😉

  2. I too have research VAM for a number of years now. One critical issue that must not be lost in the debate is that VAM is based upon standardized achievement test scores, which are demonstrably not psychometrically valid. The most critical assumption for VA to work is that the input be clearly valid and reliable. There are also a number of other assumptions the metrics of VAM fail to reconcile. It is a horribly bad system to use to evaluate educators.

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